A new email obtained by POLITICO is shedding more light on the mystery of whether and how interim DNC chair Donna Brazile might have obtained the text of a proposed question from a town hall between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in advance, and possibly shared it with the Clinton campaign.
And now CNN, which co-hosted the town hall with cable network TV One, is pointing the finger at its media partner for what appears to be a breach of the traditional secrecy surrounding the questions for such events.
The email obtained by POLITICO was written by town hall co-moderator Roland Martin on the day of the town hall to CNN producers. But it shows him using word for word the language of a question that Brazile appeared to have sent to the Clinton campaign a day earlier. That email, from Brazile to the campaign, was included in yesterday’s release of hacked emails by Wikileaks of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
Here’s what the record shows: On March 12, Brazile, then vice chair of the DNC and a CNN and ABC contributor, allegedly wrote an email with the subject line “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”
The question was a tough one on the death penalty, which Clinton has favored but the Democratic Party (and an increasing segment of the American public) has turned against. Sanders is anti-death penalty so it was going to be a tough and somewhat unexpected question for Clinton. Having that question in advance would definitely have benefited her.
Brazile and Martin are denying the question was provided in advance. But it’s looking very like they did, in fact, pass this question onto the campaign. And I’m sure, as time goes on, we will find out more and more about how the media have helped both campaigns (Cory Lewandowski was still being paid by Trump while he worked for CNN). Clinton because they wanted Clinton elected; Trump because they wanted Clinton elected and Trump was the best candidate to make that happen.